Review Summary: A heavy dance album that manages to be varied and cohesive all at once and has potential to win newcomers over to the genre
Justice came out big in 2007 with their critically acclaimed debut “Cross” which explored many facets of the European house/dance genre. Ranging from the heavy distorted synths of the opener Genesis, to the almost disco sounding Phantom duo, there was something for everyone to be found on it but also something to be disliked by almost everyone due to that same reason. With Planisphère, Justice seem to be more focused on the “heavier”, so to speak, side of their sound which will please the fans of tracks such as Genesis or Stress off their debut but might turn away the fans of the lighter songs such as the single, D.A.N.C.E..
The EP is divided into 4 tracks but as the titles suggest, the EP can and should be taken as one track that has been separated to seem more appealing to the average listener and to make it easier to reach the parts the listener enjoys most as each track does explore different facets of the heavy dance genre Justice plays but are tied together by reoccurring parts that add to the feeling of it being one long song.
The first half of the album is most comparable to Justice’s past work. The heavily distorted synths (almost reminiscent of a distorted guitar) are back coupled with booming drumbeats and the occasional lighter keyboard lead. Planisphère parts I and II meld together into a 10 minute dance epic that goes through a few rhythmic changes and various leads but while maintaining a steady driving, forceful sound that makes it great for either dancing or just sitting and listening.
The EP throws in a new element in Part III with the use of vocals samples as an extra instrument (as no words can are actually used) but while maintaining the same thick backbone as the previous tracks and staying cohesive as a song.
Finally Part III fades out into IV which brings back one of the lighter leads from part I but throws a solo on top of it. YES A JUSTICE GUITAR SOLO! The song itself is very well produced and does flow well with the rest of the album and even manages to remain danceable with its second half that sees the return of the heavy synths.
With Planisphere, Justice have stepped up their game from their debut and created an electronic album that is varied and cohesive all at once. The heavy sound used could easily win over fans of genres such as rock or metal and it retains enough “danceability” to make its way into the hearts of electro lovers.